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Pretreatment Assessment for the Optimal Management of Early-Stage Lung Cancer

Tomaszek, Sandra C. MD; Wigle, Dennis A. MD, PhD

doi: 10.1097/PPO.0b013e31820a0b2d
Special Issue on Treatment of Early-Stage Lung Cancer

Optimal management of non-small cell lung cancer requires treatment approach to be tailored to both the particular disease stage and the overall health and functional status of the patient. Even though surgical resection by means of an anatomic lobectomy remains the treatment of choice with the goal of cure for early-stage lung cancer, it is an invasive procedure with associated morbidity and mortality. Although these risks continue to decrease in the modern era with improvements in surgical technique and perioperative management, the risks are elevated in patients with associated medical comorbidities. As a consequence, patients at potentially increased or high risk for surgical lobectomy need to be identified by a structured preoperative assessment. This has gained increasing importance, given the emergence of alternative treatment approaches such as minimally invasive surgery, less extensive pulmonary resection, and stereotactic body radiation therapy. We review the clinical approach to suspected early-stage lung cancer based on a tumor and patient-centered stratification of risk and benefit.

From the Division of General Thoracic Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.

Reprints: Dennis A. Wigle, MD, PhD, Division of General Thoracic Surgery, Mayo Clinic, 200 First St SW, Rochester, MN 55905. E-mail:

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.